What kind of god would you LIKE?
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14-11-2011, 06:09 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
The argument of whether there is good without bad is the most tired argument I can think of. It's a very human consideration. The problem with this is god ain't human. God is the greatest thing ever with limitless power. That would mean to me that he could make good without bad. Great without suck and awesome without shite.

I actually can't fathom a god I would want to exist. Maybe I'd just like one that would apologize for being awful at his job and maybe resign. During this resignation I wouldn't mind if his depression became so overwhelming as to drive him to a rope and a chair. Or maybe if our current god existed and decided to ask himself where he came from thus causing his brain to implode in a furious fit of circular reasoning. That would be pretty cool!!

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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14-11-2011, 06:20 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Given the disparity of power between gods and humans, i suppose it would be much like a parent-child relationship.
So i would look for in a god what i look for in a good parent: patience, empathy, affection, respect. It's okay if s/he's imperfect, so long as s/he didn't punish others - especially helpless dependents - for hir mistakes, and was able to learn from them. I wouldn't expect constant attention or protection - only a fair and reasonable world with consistent rules.
And i'd like a god with a mature sense of humour - none of that frog-chucking and cattle-smiting and the stupid practical jokes Abraham's god kept playing on him.

BTW - Since when does life have a meaning? And why suffering be it?

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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14-11-2011, 06:23 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 06:20 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  BTW - Since when does life have a meaning? And why suffering be it?

Since Gwyneth Paltrow. Since she married Chris Martin. Ask a simple question... Tongue

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14-11-2011, 06:31 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 05:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Does life have meaning without suffering?

Sure, why not?

(14-11-2011 05:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Does life have meaning without death?

I don't see how it could. It's its impermanence and temporariness which gives it its transitory, localized, artificial meaning. ... which is the only sort of meaning there is.

(14-11-2011 05:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  If suffering and death give our lives meaning, then don't we owe God our thanks for them?

I agree that death gives our lives meaning, but suffering is just something to be alleviated. And I don't see that god is necessary for either one.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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14-11-2011, 06:58 PM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 06:31 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I agree that death gives our lives meaning, but....

I have never seen a satisfactory definition of the word "meaning" in this context. Huh


ETA:

We have a new stray cat (#6) worming its way into our hearts. She just showed up one day: skinny as a rake, begging for mercy and food. She is about 6 months old, dark tabby with a slightly Siamese looking triangular head. She is very beautiful and very tame. We call her Alice because she is treating our home as Wonderland she has just found.

In a way, we are gods to her, with power over life and death.

She trusts us implicitly, completely abandoning herself to our mercy. She tolerates medication, grooming, restrictions, anything we want is fine with her, as long as we love her and accept her.

She is now living in the “waiting room” of the front porch, waiting to be accepted by the other cats who are not at all sure if they want to kill her at the first opportunity.

They will come around, eventually, we have done it before.

Every new stray cat costs about $300 for shots, medication, surgery. This is our way of reducing pain by a tiny bit in the world. Not much but every bit counts.

Now, if I could have a god to humans, like we are to cats, I might even be tempted to be religious! Big Grin
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14-11-2011, 09:20 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 06:58 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  I have never seen a satisfactory definition of the word "meaning" in this context. Huh

Yup, gotta define it for yourself. ... which is as it should be.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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14-11-2011, 10:28 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
The only God I'd like is the one that stayed the fuck out of my business!

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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14-11-2011, 10:29 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Cats rule in this hood. There's only stray dogs... the cats chase 'em away. Wink

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14-11-2011, 11:49 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Hey, Peterkin.

Quote:BTW - Since when does life have a meaning? And why suffering be it?

Does that mean you think life is meaningless, or do you have an alternate theory?

Also, I never said that suffering is the meaning of life. I asked if life has meaning without it. What would life be if there were no trials, no tribulations, no difficulty, no challenge, no pain, no suffering, no disease, no injury, no death? It seems to me that these things are an integral part of our lives. More to the point, they are the yin to the yang of all the wonderful things that we're able to appreciate because we know these things. To wish them away is utopian. To blame God for them seems, to me, short-sighted. But please bear in mind that I'm not suggesting that there even is a God.

Hey, GirlyMan.

Quote:Sure, why not?

I'm not some kind of self-flagellator, but to me, a life without struggle seems without point. Competition is the inescapable truth of all life. I'm not saying that life is zero sum, but you win some and you lose some. If all we did was win, if we knew that was the only possible outcome, then why would we bother to try anything? Like my boy JFK said, we do things, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

Anyhoo, if people want God to eliminate suffering and death, who am I to argue? I just don't think that it will make life better. Perhaps it will. Perhaps a life of unlimited hedonism won't get stale. But I'll never know because suffering is as much a part of the human experience as laughter. That's the reality I have to deal with.

As far as the Buddhist thing goes, I'm not going to suggest that people aren't interested in alleviating suffering. That seems pretty self-evident to me. But without suffering, what is the point of following the eightfold path?

GENERAL QUESTION: Some people blame God for everything shitty. If there is no God, then who, if anyone, is to blame for these things?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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15-11-2011, 01:58 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 05:39 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  If god did exist, I would tell him to go back to the drawing board and redesign the whole planet -- correct the basic, fundamental design flaws that not even a god could correct. Design a planet that has only plant-like species (both sentient and not) that do not need to be carnivorous -- extract energy directly from sunlight and building material from the soil. No competition, no predation, no fight over limited resources.

Apropos of your suggestion, Zatamon, did you ever come across an essay entitled "The Meat Eaters" by the Rutgers philosopher Jeff McMahan? It attracted some attention last year. McMahan talks about "the continuous, incalculable suffering of animals":

Quote:[B]eneath the foliage and hidden from the distant eye, a vast, unceasing slaughter rages. Wherever there is animal life, predators are stalking, chasing, capturing, killing, and devouring their prey. Agonized suffering and violent death are ubiquitous and continuous.

. . .

If I had been in a position to design and create a world, I would have tried to arrange for all conscious individuals to be able to survive without tormenting and killing other conscious individuals. I hope most other people would have done the same.

He goes on to consider something radical:

Quote:Suppose that [at some point in the future] we could arrange the gradual extinction of carnivorous species, replacing them with new herbivorous ones. Or suppose that we could intervene genetically, so that currently carnivorous species would gradually evolve into herbivorous ones . . . . If we could bring about the end of predation by one or the other of these means at little cost to ourselves, ought we to do it?

From the comments I read, McMahan's ideas were not received well. He was lampooned as being naive and full of hubris, along the lines of, "Who are you to think you can do better than God?" But I found his proposals thought-provoking and more than a little appealing.

Here's another change I'd make if I were in charge of the universe:

Every human being gets exactly the same amount of time alive, say 120 years. And when you reach your physical prime, typically as a young adult, you stay that way right up to the end, retaining all your strength and vigor. No more of this damn fading of beauty and attractiveness. Same for intellectual capacity: when you reach your peak, that's where you stay until you die. And when your time is up, you close your eyes and die calmly and peacefully, without sickness or suffering. I think that would be an improvement over the present system, don't you? Smile

I've always loved Fitzgerald's adaptation of Omar Khayyam. My favorite quattrain in the Rubaiyat is this one:

Ah, Love! could you and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits--and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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